Sunday, September 06, 2009

Choices for Komeito

I think that Komeito has three plausible choices in the run up to the next HOR election:
1) Stick with LDP and hope that the changing winds will blow a few HOR SMD seats their way.
With Komeito’s 10%+ available for LDP SMD candidates, it remains a plausible option for at least one more HOR election.

2) Go with the DPJ and get a seat (or two) at the cabinet table.
As your comment implies, this yields immediate benefits for the Komeito leadership. And like you, I can’t figure out a way for the DPJ to help Komeito in the 2010 HOC election either. Moreover, the DPJ will have a hard time making concessions in the next HOR election because it will have incumbents in all the SMD seats that Komeito covets.

3) Go independent and become an HOC/HOR-PR party, offering its support for policy concessions.
Be the party of conscience, standing up for the little guys and keeping the big boys honest. Who knows, non-Sokagakkai voters may decide to give it a second look. Come to think of it, that’s what the Komeito game plan used to be. With two major, middle-of-the-road parties to choose from, Komeito could be the ultimate swing party. It could even join an administration or two if it thinks it’s getting enough concessions. And the DPJ might need them sooner rather than later, depending on the outcome of the 2010 election.
I think I remember Gerry Curtis suggesting something like 3) between the 2004 and 2005 elections.


Bryce said...

Or 4) disappear.

Jun Okumura said...

Bryce: Now that you mention it, that, indeed, is an option. More specifically, Soka Gakkai could decide to leave politics altogether. Or much less drastically, merge into one of the two major parties. The first is the more plausible of the two, not that it will happen while Daisaku Ikeda is still around. Either way, your suggestion does not seem to be part of the Komeito soul-searching just yet.